Small banks battle to get CARES Act cash to small businesses : Planet Money Many banks have changed the way they work, as they hurry to get billions in CARES Act cash to small businesses.
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Small Banks' Corona Crunch

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Small Banks' Corona Crunch

Small Banks' Corona Crunch

Small Banks' Corona Crunch

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/857212304/858271283" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Niny Phommachanh, a marketing specialist at Brookline Bank in Massachusetts, is currently helping process the huge influx of Payment Protection Program loan applications the bank has received. photo courtesy of Niny Phommachanh /Niny Phommachanh hide caption

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photo courtesy of Niny Phommachanh /Niny Phommachanh

Niny Phommachanh, a marketing specialist at Brookline Bank in Massachusetts, is currently helping process the huge influx of Payment Protection Program loan applications the bank has received.

photo courtesy of Niny Phommachanh /Niny Phommachanh

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a central part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress to provide emergency funds for coronavirus response. The PPP provides small businesses with emergency loans, which are supposed to be forgivable if employers spend most of the money on their employees.

In the past month, small businesses on the brink have been racing to get a tiny piece of this money. But to get it, they have to apply through local banks. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) says more than 4 million PPP loans have been processed so far, but many more applications are in the pipeline. This has put bankers, particularly those who work for smaller banks, under a lot of pressure; roughly a third of the money issued in the latest round of PPP funding came from smaller banks.

Today, we meet employees from a small Massachusetts bank that's made some big changes to get these emergency funds to businesses who desperately need it.

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